Watching all the events unfold in the last week, has been unprecedented like I have ever seen in my life. The chaos and violence that took place in Washington DC, was unfounded and should have never happened. Freedom of speech in America is so vital to our existence as a nation, however, there are just a few bad apples that like to ruin it for the rest of us.
In the previous days, there have been leaders, groups, and other individuals who have had their social media profiles suspended or even removed. We have also seen a mixture of communication apps recently become suspended. Why is this happening?
The reality is that freedom of speech and censorship is not happening although many think it is. Each of these platforms has a certain set of rules defined, which is known as the Terms of Service (TOS). When you sign up a social media platform, you agree to the TOS set forth. Furthermore, if any of these rules change, the TOS has a line that states you will agree to accept them by continuing to use the platform.
Let me be frank - having a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account is not your right. It is a privilege from the respective company to use the respective social media platform.
While you go out and utilize these platforms to communicate with your friends and family, you also utilize these platforms to promote your company, its products, or services, and help grow your business. In a day that we are seeing these large corporations really come down on billions of people and how they share their messages and what content they share, you as the business owner must realize that you must be cautious on how you communicate as an individual.
For example, many of you do not have a separate account for Facebook business pages. You have it linked to your main profile. It is my recommendation, that you have all your business pages with separate email addresses or a secondary account. In the case that you choose to speak your voice, and the platform decides to suspend or delete your account, you will lose access to your business page, respective groups, and all other content that was tied to your name. This could even mean access to your advertisement account.
As a firm belief that freedom of speech is a God-given right, God has given us the agency to choose our decisions, communicate them appropriately, or dictate such actions. Thus, we must all remember that when a company is selected for their respective product or service, you agree to their terms and conditions.
Just as if you were a small retail business, and you had a specific refund or exchange policy, that is your TOS as it pertains to refunds or exchanges. The difference with social media, is that their terms of service is related around what is being communicated and what is the content.
As we start to see many people evolve to other platforms that are up-and-coming, it comes to mind from my mother, who told me when I was a child, “ if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all” and “ choose your words wisely; others will judge what you say.” These social media platforms are powerful tools for business. I know the growth potential that individuals and their businesses can gain by using them.
I ask you to think about the quotes from my mother as you go upon posting on your personal pages in which are tied to your business pages. You are in control of your destination and business successes. You reap what you sow.